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Action Plan for Public Health: Initial Recommendations for Involving Public Health in Climate Change


Public Health Law & Policy (PHLP) has embarked upon the ambitious task of providing the public health community with the practical tools, policy strategies, and legal resources it needs to effectively participate in climate change planning activities taking place at the state, regional, and local levels. To accomplish this, PHLP is working in cooperation with a coalition of stakeholders, including experts in public health, land use planning, climate science, and environmental law.
As a first step in developing a comprehensive public health approach to climate change, PHLP gathered a diverse group of more than 150 participants together on October 20, 2008, for a multi-disciplinary exchange of ideas and strategies. The objective of the gathering was to explore ways of better engaging public health networks and agencies in climate change work.
Four opportunities for immediate action emerged:
• Communicate the public health message;
• Begin work on climate change now;
• Advocate for and protect vulnerable populations; and
• Develop infrastructure to support the work.
A consistent theme running throughout this plan is the importance of pursuing strategies that result in “co-benefits”: outcomes that both improve health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Public Health Law & Policy offers this plan as the starting place from which a robust set of health-based climate change strategies can evolve. In the meanwhile, we hope this plan and recommended next steps will inspire and mobilize the public health community and its partners to participate in the critically important processes of climate change planning and policy making.

Primary Toolkit:

Climate Change Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Adaptation, All-Hazards, Climate, Community Design, Environmental Health, Health Policy, Mitigation, Risk Communication, Vulnerable Populations


Institutional Author:

Public Health Law & Policy





Five most recent user comments

2.5 Stars of 5 - Somewhat Useful
By Linda Tindall

4 Stars of 5 - Very Useful
A valuable overview
By Richard Hicks
Explains why Public Health involvement is important, suggests specific areas where departments can become involved, and offers specific strategies for work in these areas.

5 Stars of 5 - Extremely Useful
Very good paper!
By Edward Marugg
Even though this document emphasizes the State of California, it is a great basis of information for forming a plan and has a lot of good tools in it.  Very good paper.

The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.